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Hall 'all in' with Devils despite contract uncertainty, coach says

Forward who could become free agent can sign extension up to eight years

by Mike. G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Taylor Hall will be "all in to play" for the New Jersey Devils this season despite uncertainly over his next contract, coach John Hynes said Wednesday.

"Taylor's invested here," Hynes said. "And if it winds up where his contract isn't done, it's not going to affect who he is as a person and what he believes."

The 27-year-old left wing could become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2020 but can sign an extension of up to eight years with the Devils before then. 

 

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"I think with the connections he's made here, the relationships we have, and how both parties have handled it, has been professional," Hynes said. "This is part of what it is, and when it's time to play and practice and be part of the team, I foresee no issues at all."

Acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Adam Larsson on June 29, 2016, Hall has one season remaining on a seven-year contract worth $6 million per season he signed with the Oilers on Aug. 22, 2012.

"It's a big decision for Taylor Hall," Devils general manager Ray Shero said June 20. "He's been fantastic for us. We'd love to have him long term and, at the same time, my relationship with Taylor these past three years has been great. He's a very thoughtful kid, asks questions, and I'm no different in asking him questions on how he's feeling and what's important."

Hall missed the final 47 games last season and had arthroscopic surgery in February to remove fragments from his left knee. He had 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 33 games, one season after he had an NHL career-high 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) in 76 games and won the Hart Trophy voted as the NHL most valuable player.

Hynes said Hall was happy to learn of the trade with the Nashville Predators to acquire defenseman P.K. Subban on June 22, and the signing of forward Wayne Simmonds to a one-year contract July 1.

"We talked before the P.K. trade and usually we meet at one point in summer, which I'll do with him a little bit later in July," Hynes said. "So all things are good with him. I think he's excited about the additions that we have on our team. And it's nice to see him in a good frame of mind. He's moving along and training (in Toronto) the right way."

Video: Hughes' "fired up" to be a Devil, training with Hall

The Devils also chose center Jack Hughes with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The 18-year-old is expected to be the No. 2 center behind Nico Hischier to begin the regular season.

"It's a big decision for any young man or woman to choose where they may work and live, and I want [Hall] to have information," Shero said. "That's the relationship we have -- here's what we're doing and why -- and I want feedback from [him]. That's a natural evolution on how you do these things."

Hall's agent told NHL.com on June 6 that he and Shero have been talking.

"I'm in contact with Ray and he and I communicate regularly, and out of respect to the process I really can't provide any details or any conversations that we engage in," Darren Ferris said. "It's a decision the player will have to make in time, and there's no pressure into making it. It's just a discussion that is going to be ongoing."

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